It is not for us to know what goes on in the blue medical tent, until it is. The tents are what the league said is a privacy measure (and also what they didn’t say: a handy way to better control the narrative regarding head injuries, specifically) that was instituted this season and used across the NFL and if privacy is the actual goal, they’ve been effective.
They’ve also highlighted a lot of reasons why the NFL’s safety measures are still a joke. Players have had the tent pulled up around them, then immediately exited without undergoing any kind of medical test or treatment. But sometimes, a quick evaluation from trained professionals is actually all that’s required to eliminating the possibility of serious injury from a diagnosis.
Such was the case when Reuben Foster entered the tent in San Francisco’s win over the Tennessee Titans. Foster went down with an injury that looked serious, but after short stay in the tent, resumed play. A collective sigh of relief was breathed. So what went down in the tent?
A very simple weight test, according to Foster, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
Inside the makeshift medical tent on the sideline, however, trainers had him raise weights with his right arm and he quickly was reassured nothing was drastically wrong. He missed just two defensive snaps in the contest.
“Yeah, I was worried because it was the shoulder I had injured,” Foster said. “But when I started feeling all my muscles and I was strengthening it up … it was great. Nothing was wrong with it and I knew right then and there I didn’t re-mess anything up in my shoulder, that it was just a stinger.”
So a simple test of holding something up was enough for Foster. If he failed that test, it doesn’t confirm any specific injury for certain, but it does make a few significant things likely with his shoulder. By running that test, they eliminated the possibility of that specific shoulder injury, which meant he would be fine.